You’ve just launched a budding startup primed and ready to blossom. Congratulations! Now all you need to do is grab the attention of your customers.
Most companies will spend an arm and a leg on expensive advertisement budgets, often with very little to show for it. Lucky for you, it’s not as hard as it seems to get your startup noticed without breaking the bank. In today’s digital climate, there are ways to make an impact without draining your resources (however, no one is saying it’s going to be low effort).
Here are five tips to help you save money and get your product in the hands and hearts of your customers!
#1 Leverage Social Media & Your Online Presence
To run a successful startup in 2020, you’re going to need a website. Your web presence is your digital storefront and, given the current era, most people are going to find you online. This means that you need to meet them where they are!
Best yet, creating content is free (kind of). If you have the bandwidth, then you can start pushing organic content on platforms like:
- Your own blog
To that end, here are just a few reasons your startup should be active on all the major platforms:
- Sell Your Product – You’ve made a fantastic website, but perhaps you’re not getting enough visits. In which case, consider allowing your customers to buy directly from your social media pages.
- Have a Conversation – Engage with your customers’ questions and reviews directly on your page for the rest of the world to see. The more you engage (and the more you put your good reviews front and center), the likelier your leads will be to trust you.
- Drive Content – Share spectacular photos of your product, but also mix it up a bit by posting attention-grabbing content relatable to your consumers. No matter if you’re providing a service or selling products, create a narrative that makes them the hero in the journey. Compel them to buy because of what your product/service can do for their life.
- Advertise on Social – We know, this is about getting noticed on a budget. Not only is social media advertising cheaper than traditional media, but it also allows for effective targeting, tons of analytics, and you can have a conversation directly with your consumers.
#2 Leverage Preexisting Platforms
Wouldn’t it be great if the influential people of the internet could give a glowing review of your startup? Of course, it would!
While influencer marketing may appear intimidating (not to mention costly), especially for a new startup, the reality is that there are many micro-influencers with niche audiences that fit your target demographic. Today, marketers are throwing vanity metrics to the wayside. The new flagship value measurement? Engagement.
Additionally, up-and-coming influencers will often trade a mention in exchange for free products or services. Find a group of influencers with the right audience, then identify the most cost-effective initiative to leverage their voice.
#3 Gift Giving
Who doesn’t love a gift? Chances are you’ve nabbed a free company shirt or hat in your lifetime.
There’s also a chance that you’ve got a bunch of swag already lying around for employees. Why not put that gear to use? Set aside a small part of your budget to offer up some promotional items to give away.
Branded items will attract new customers and reward existing ones. Consider using a gift giveaway to engage your customers, allowing them to help you spread the word!
Below are a few branded items you might consider giving away:
- Tote Bags
- Face Masks/bandanas (this is especially relevant right now)
Quick Quiz: What does a marketer call a promotional offering that increases brand awareness and drives sales? A gift that keeps on giving.
Those loyal customers representing your gear can help in more ways than one. Utilize your already existing clientele by having them refer their friends. Word of mouth is effective marketing; people are much more likely to trust a product that their friends or family vouch for.
Your users will also be eager to refer their friends if they are incentivized with a free product, a discount on their next purchase, or a rewards program that offers cashback.
Ultimately, a referral program creates a natural buzz and gets more people talking about your startup. Consider utilizing referral software to boost your startup’s reach!
#5 One Big Community
Your startup has to exist somewhere, right? Whether it’s anchored by a physical location or it’s an online collective floating in cyberspace, there is always opportunity to foster community.
Say your startup is a floristry business, selling out of a storefront and online. Host a bouquet arrangement class in your city to promote your startup to the people nearest you! Starting local is one of the quickest ways to develop a following (and customer loyalty, because they get to actually engage with you).
As your business grows, encourage your customers to repost your content, open new lines of communication on different channels, and do what you can to create an interactive platform. A booming community—built around a brand—is a free advertising hub.
A Personal Touch
One final point: you created this startup. While these strategies will help you get noticed without costing a fortune, remember that a personal story can often be the most effective selling point. Today, customers respond to transparency.
If you’re trying to influence change and improve people’s lives, share your story. Share your ethos. Share your message (email is a fantastic way to do this) and then invite them on the journey.
When you look back, you might be surprised to see a loyal group of brand ambassadors trailing behind you.